The four Irish finalists of the 2015 European Destination of Excellence (EDEN) Awards are today joining Fáilte Ireland to demonstrate Ireland’s food appeal to the Italian media at the EXPO Milan.

The Burren Food Trail, the So Sligo Food Trail, the Cong Food Village and the producers of the West Waterford region will explain to the attending Italian press and other international guests just what makes them amongst the best food tourism areas in Ireland.

In addition, all four will demonstrate how they fulfilled the criteria to be shortlisted for the EU-wide EDEN award to celebrate Tourism and local Gastronomy with the Burren Food Trail ultimately being selected as the overall Irish winner.

Fáilte Ireland, together with state agencies Bord Bia and Tourism Ireland are attending all this week at the Food Tourism Week of the EXPO Milan 2015, in Lombardy, Italy. Food Tourism Week brings together the main players in Europe’s tourism sector for the first time, to discuss the future of food tourism as the ever-growing interest in gastronomy provides a unique opportunity for both tourism and food industries.

During the three-day event various topics related to tourism and gastronomy will be discussed with the aim of presenting different perspectives and new business opportunities. The event will also highlight EU initiatives and policies that promote European gastronomy as part of an outstanding and diverse cultural offer.

Fáilte Ireland research shows that 80% of visitors believe food is an important part of their visit and has a significant impact on their overall satisfaction levels in a destination.

John Mulcahy, Head of Hospitality & Food Tourism, Fáilte Ireland, commented: With the best raw ingredients in the world and with growers, producers, retailers and chefs all working together to promote their destination, Ireland is now seeing the results as we produce wonderful locally sourced cuisine for our visitors.”

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